Ali Abdelaziz believes Khabib Nurmagomedov would beat reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya if ‘The Eagle’ came out of retirement and cut to 185 pounds.
Abdelaziz, who manages Khabib at Dominance MMA, pointed to Nurmagomedov’s manhandling of heavier fighters at the gym as proof that the former UFC lightweight champion would dominate and finish Adesanya inside three rounds.
Abdelaziz, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, acknowledges Adesanya is ‘the best striker’ in the world but claims he wouldn’t be able to stop Nurmagomedov’s takedowns.
“If Khabib comes tomorrow and cut to 185, he will stop Israel Adesanya in three rounds, this is my opinion,” Abdelaziz told Sherdog in a recent interview (h/t The Mirror).
“I see it [at the gym]. He beat heavyweights, light heavyweights, welterweights, lightweights. He’s unstoppable. He’s like a tractor-trailer. Styles, if Khabib wants to come back and talk with [UFC president] Dana White, say, ‘Let me fight at middleweight,’ he will finish Israel Adesanya in three rounds because the style of fights.
“Adesanya cannot stop his wrestling, he cannot stop his grappling. Striking, of course, Israel is the best striker on this planet. But Khabib can come back and fight middleweight and become a champion today.”
Khabib retired undefeated with a professional record of 29-0. The Russian is considered the greatest lightweight fighter of all time and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in UFC history.
It isn’t clear what Khabib’s current walkaround weight is, but the 33-year-old would surely be at a disadvantage against Adesanya, who has competed at middleweight and light heavyweight.
As fun as it is to speculate, this fight will never happen. But this footage of Khabib dominating Luke Rockhold in training may indicate how well Khabib would have fared at middleweight.
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